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the Convention in its integrity in the same spirit, I hope I may still calculate upon your cordial co-operation.
I am, &c. (Signed) EDMUND HORNBY.
Mr. Upham to Mr. Hornby. SIR,
London, October 3, 1853. Your line of the 27th ult. was duly received, and has been considered with much attention.
I am very happy to learn that you fully concur with me in the desirableness of our agreeing upon an umpire, and in the various considerations urged by me to show its importance; also, that you agree as to the requisites regarded by me as essential in an umpire, and in the circumstances named as restricting and limiting the range of our choice, with the exception that you do not consider a selection as necessarily limited to the class of persons represented by Mr. Peabody, but believe some one may be more properly appointed who is not a citizen of either country, it being conceded by you that “any umpire” thus selected should be favourably known in America, and have an established reputation there for impartiality and integrity as well as here.
You will observe, from the points taken by me in my line, it does not follow that the selection must necessarily be made from the class I named, to the exclusion of foreigners to either Government; but that the difficulty of selecting persons from foreigners having the qualifications agreed to be necessary, were such as to render it quite hopeless to direct our attention in that quarter; and that, for these reasons, I expressed the belief we should look, in the selection of an umpire, to the class represented by Mr. Peabody, as the one in which “ we might most readily arrive at a conclusion that would satisfy all parties, and would conduce to the best interests of both Governments."
After a reconsideration of the various reasons assigned by you for the selection of a foreigner, and of the highly respectable names you have presented, the difficulties arising from such a selection are still deeply impressed upon my mind. Some of the individuals named in that class by you, though, doubtless, highly honourable men, and having an unexceptionable character “ for impartiality and integrity” among their acquaintance, have no public reputation in America. Others have had claims to notice mainly from hereditary position, or past temporary connection with European changes in Government, or as Ministers of such Governments, rather than from such personal qualities of character as should commend them to this position.
To these names you have added those of individuals holding the highly honourable position of representatives of other Governments at the Court of Great Britain. I am fully sensible of the eminent ability, extensive acquirements, and personal worth of the present Representatives of other Governments here; but the fact that The United States has claims similar to those pending with this country, which have been matters of discussion with most of those Governments, and possibly of prejudged opinion on the part of these Represensentatives themselves, together with considerations arising from their intimate personal and official relations here in matters, to them, of vastly paramount importance, might be likely to create, in the minds of claimants, the impression that the tribunal was not as equally and impartially constituted, in reference to them, by such a selection, as a regard for justice required and they might with propriety demand.
For these reasons, all of them of a public character, I have been unable to concur in the appointment of individuals from the class of persons suggested by you at my request, and “as an earnest of your desire," as you say, “ to agree on some individual as umpire, rather than of resorting to the contingency of lot to constitute one,” you have named various Englishmen, “ whose character, reputation, and social position place them," as you remark, “ above all suspicion.” I fully agree with you in the high character of these individuals, and were the hearing in my own country, should hardly object to some of the persons named.
Our claimants, however, come a long distance to present their claims here; and, in addition to this circumstance, might think it hardly equal that the tribunal should be constituted in such manner. Would it not, under the circumstances, be more equal that the selection of umpire should he from our country? I might name a gentleman, now on the continent, who is shortly to return here, who would compare favourably with any one you have mentioned, whose fame is achieved, who has no personal ambition to gratify, except, perhaps, that of establishing a reputation for justice in both hemispheres. I allude to Martin Van Buren, late President of the United States. Among this class of persons, who have, in addition, not only an American but an English reputation, gained here by long residence, I might name also Richard Rush and Washinton Irving.
After the repeated conferences we have had, and the full consideration I have given the matter, my impression is fixed that, having a due regard to impartiality, we must select some individual of known personal international reputation, gained by actual substantial residence in both countries, and uniting, with the requisites, the proper personal attainments for the position, or we must disagree in the choice of umpire.
I have delayed an answer to your line, hoping to have had a reply to some inquiries that might have enabled me to add further names than I now can give; I would, however, suggest, for your consideration, in addition to those already mentioned, Russell Surgis, of London, an individual of established reputation here, possessing, in the fullest degree, all the necessary characteristics for such an appointment; and Thomas Aspinwell, our late Consul at London, who has been twenty-eight years a resident here, and whose high attainments as a literary man, eminently just and impartial mind and noble traits of character, place him above suspicion and doubt among all who know him in either country.
Hoping by these suggestions we may be enabled to come to some mutual agreement, which is so highly to be desired.
I am, &c. (Signed) N. G. UPHAM.
Note.—In presenting this line, notice was given by Mr. Upham, American Commissioner, that he should propose Joshua Bates, Esq., of London, as umpire, should it become necessary.
Mr. Hornby to Mr. Uphum. SIR,
London, October 11, 1853. I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 3rd instant, in which you state your objections to the several gentlemen whose names I had the honour to suggest to you in my last communication, and in which also you do me the favour to present to my notice the names of five other gentlemen, all Americans. You likewise allude to the national feeling which might possibly arise in America regarding the fairness of decisions made in this country, and at a distance from the residence of American claimants, and you urge this circumstance as a reason for my acquiescence in the choice of an umpire, who should be an Arnerican by birth.
Whilst, however, I am willing to admit the force of some of these observations, and am sincerely anxious to do anything which, in a spirit of fairness and justice, I can do, to place the two classes of claimants upon a feeling of equality, so that it shall be unreasonable in either to question the impartiality of those appointed to adjudicate on the several claims I cannot admit as founded in reason, or justified by experience, the implication, either that England exercises so vast an influence on the rest of Europe as to render her capable, if even she were so inclined, of prejudicing the interests of the people of any other country in such questions as those involved in the claims about to be submitted to our decision; or that, in so far as the illustrious individuals I have ventured to name are concerned, that influence could, or would, in any instance warp their judgments, or give to their minds an undue and improper bias. I am unwilling, also, to believe that any consideration, either public or private, could induce men of such high standing and universal fame to depart one hair's breadth from that clear and straightforward course of conduct which it is essential an umpire should pursue.
It was this conviction which led me to submit their names to you, and it is an undoubted confidence in the integrity of the great men of your country that induces me to acquiesce in the nomination of Mr. Martin Van Buren; and I do so the more readily, because I cannot but conceive that the man whom the citizens of so great a country as The United States should have deemed worthy to fill the post of chief magistrate and ruler, must likewise be worthy of the confidence of a nation whose laws, sympathies, and feelings, are so nearly identical with their own.
Mr. Martin Van Buren's career and character is also so well known and esteemed in England, and his reputation as a statesman, a lawyer, and a gentleman, is so firmly established here, that I do not hesitate to waive, in his favour, the more important of the objections, which I felt myself justified in making to the appointment of an American to the office of umpire under the Convention constituting the Commission; and in so far as he is concerned, I am willing to give up my own opinion on the expediency of choosing that officer from a class entirely indifferent by reason of nationality to the claimants of either country.
In thus acquiescing in the nomination of one of the gentlemen proposed by you, a countryman of your own, and also of one section of the claimants, I am actuated alone by the consideration of his high personal qualifications, my full reliance on your good faith, and my own desire to avoid the alternative provided by the Convention in case of a disagreement between us on this important particular. To these